IndyCar Nashville Music City Grand Prix start times: After its longest break this year, the NTT IndyCar Series will return this weekend for one of the most highly anticipated events of the 2021 season.
A field of 27 cars — the largest outside of the Indy 500 in more than eight years — will race through the streets of downtown Nashville, Tennessee for the first time. It’s been a decade since the last inaugural event in IndyCar. Will Power won the 2011 debut at Baltimore, another street circuit that lasted only three years.
Hopes are high that Nashville will have the staying power of Long Beach and St. Petersburg, which have been the twin pillars of IndyCar street circuits. The newest 11-turn, 2.17-mile layout will incorporate the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge as a signature landmark, as well as a finish line in front of Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans).
BRIDGE TO GREATNESS: Everything to know about racing across the Cumberland River at 200 mph
“Super excited; definitely an interesting circuit certainly we’ve seen so far on the simulator,” six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon said. “Going over the water on the bridge and very tight sections. More importantly, I’m just excited to be racing in downtown Nashville. There are a lot of big names, celebrities and stars coming to this one, but more so just for the local people, it’s going to be a lot of fun. Excited to get there and hopefully we can put on a great show and enjoy Nashville for many years.”
Dixon was victorious the last time IndyCar raced in Tennessee, winning the 2006-08 races at Nashville Superspeedway.
He remains in the hunt for a seventh title through 10 of 16 races this year, trailing Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and championship standings leader Alex Palou by 56 points. Pato O’Ward, who is the only repeat winner in 2021 along with Palou, is ranked second.
Two-time series champion Josef Newgarden is 69 points behind in fourth after becoming the season’s eighth winner (three short of the modern-era record of 11) in the series’ most recent race July 4 at Mid-Ohio.
Here are the details and IndyCar start times for this weekend (all times are ET):
Inaugural Music City Grand Prix in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
TV: 5:30 p.m. on NBCSN and streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com. Kevin Lee is the announcer with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Marty Snider and Dave Burns are the pit reporters.
COMMAND TO START ENGINES: 5:38 p.m. ET
GREEN FLAG: 5:45 p.m. ET
DISTANCE: The race is 80 laps (173.6 miles) on an 11-turn, 2.17-mile street course in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.
PRACTICE: Friday, 4:10 p.m. (Peacock Premium); Saturday, 1 p.m. (Peacock Premium), Sunday, 1 p.m. (Peacock Premium)
QUALIFYING: Saturday, 4:30 p.m. (Peacock Premium)
TIRE ALLOTMENT: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate to be used during the event weekend. One additional set of primary tires may be used by teams fielding a rookie driver. Teams must use one set of primary and one set of new (sticker) alternate tires for at least two laps in the race.
PUSH TO PASS: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation. The push-to-pass is not available on the initial start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. The feature increases the power of the engine by approximately 60 horsepower.
FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 80 degrees with a 3% chance of rain at the green flag.
ENTRY LIST: Click here for the 27 cars entered at Nashville
TRACK MAP: Click here for the 11-turn, 2.17-mile layout
IndyCar weekend schedule for the Music City Grand Prix in Nashville
Noon: Trans-Am Series TA2 practice
1:40 p.m.: SRO GT America testing
2:15 p.m.: SRO GT America practice
3:15 p.m.: Trans-Am Series TA2 practice
4:10 p.m.: IndyCar practice (Peacock Premium)
5:25 p.m.: Stadium Super Trucks practice
6:15 p.m.: Drew Green concert
7:15 p.m.: SRO GT America practice
8 p.m.: Concert with Brooks & Dunn, Jamey Johnson, Vince Neil, Tyler Farr
Noon: Trans-Am Series TA2 qualifying
1 p.m.: IndyCar practice (Peacock Premium)
2:20 p.m.: Trans-Am Series TA2 race
3:50 p.m.: SRO GT America qualifying
4:30 p.m.: IndyCar qualifying (Peacock Premium)
6 p.m.: Tim Dugger concert
7:15 p.m.: Stadium Super Trucks Race 1
8:25 p.m.: SRO GT America Race 1
9:30 p.m.: Jon Pardi concert
11:30 p.m.: Fireworks show
1 p.m.: IndyCar warmup (Peacock Premium)
2:45 p.m.: Stadium Super Trucks Race 2
3:45 p.m.: SRO GT America Race 2
5:30 p.m.: IndyCar Music City Grand Prix (NBCSN)
8 p.m.: Grand Ole Opry concert with Alan Jackson, Justin Moore, Riley Green, Danielle Bradbery, Callista Clark
COVERAGE ON NBCSPORTS.COM:
ROUND 8: Pato O’Ward wins, takes points lead
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 1: A 19th at Barber Motorsports Park
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 2: Tough day for the No. 48
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 3: Making progress in a 24th-place finish
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 4-5: Challenging weekend in Detroit
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 6: One mistake at Road America
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 7: A fun day at Mid-Ohio